Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray today unveiled the latest edition of the Department of Revenue's Ten Most Wanted poster for failure to pay child support, which includes some of the most willful evaders of their basic parental responsibility to care for their children.
"Governor Patrick and I are committed to creating and maintaining safe communities. A parent who fails to meet the financial needs of their children - and that often means failing to meet their children's emotional needs as well - endangers the well-being of those children, and that is not how we build safe communities," Murray said. "The ten individuals on this new poster, who together owe $646,913 in unpaid child support for 19 children, have gone to great lengths to hide their identities and their wallets."
Each parent on the Ten Most Wanted list has left the Commonwealth and now faces criminal charges carrying sentences of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Arrest warrants have been issued and the names of each entered in the National Criminal Information Center database.
Over the past 15 years, DOR's Child Support Enforcement unit has displayed on 13 previous posters the faces of 113 non-custodial parents whose whereabouts are unknown and who are far behind on their support payments. Of those 113 parents, 97 have been located and about $3.6 million collected in back child support.
"If history is any indicator, the publicity this poster will generate will help locate some of these parents and allow the Commonwealth to bring them to justice here in Massachusetts," Murray said. "And it will also encourage others who owe child support to pay up."
"The mission of Child Support Enforcement is to protect the economic well-being of children by enforcing the financial responsibilities of parenthood. This poster is a powerful tool in accomplishing that mission," said DOR Commissioner Henry Dormitzer.
"Children supported by both parents are less likely to become teen parents or school drop-outs, and less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol or enter the criminal justice system," said Marilyn Ray Smith, DOR deputy commissioner for Child Support Enforcement. "We do this list as a last resort; we want these parents to be responsible for their children."
CSE distributed $521 million in child support payments to children and their custodial parents in fiscal 2007.
Those who have information on the whereabouts of these 10 individuals should call the Ten Most Wanted Tip-line at 1-888-WANTEDS.